Transformation in the Japanese Context
This chapter's examination of Pollyanna within the context of Japanese children's literature notes similarities on early-twentieth-century American and Japanese desires to combine moral intent with idealized childhood innocence. A key difference between the two national literatures is the willingness to entertain their young readers rather than simply preaching moral values. Identifying a shift in attitudes toward the Japanese children's literature readers from the 1950s onward, the chapter argues that translated literature provided the main models for “entertaining” literature for children, especially stories for girls or stories featuring girls as the protagonist. Novels such as Pollyanna played a vital role in shaping the concept of girlhood during this era, and its impact is evident in romantic girls' love comedies and other popular fiction since the 1970s.
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